Nottingham’s prison on this site dates to the late 19th century. It has a small but distinctive gate in a handsome redbrick that belies the size of the prison itself – it has a capacity of over 1000.
As a Leicester City supporter, I’m obviously aware that there is a historic football rivalry with Nottingham Forest (104 fixtures since 1901) – the so-called East Midlands derby. But as we’ve won the most, we can look past that!
The officers said staff relations with each other were ‘excellent’ (‘a real family’), mutually supportive, with new staff made very welcome (‘lots of socials’). They rated in-cell phones, which ‘make a real difference’, and said a dedicated, trained safer custody team (and screening on reception) had reduced ACCTs, with a similar approach to violence also helping there, too. They valued the ‘visible’ governor’s ‘open door’ policy, and similarly, SMs and CMs, with CMs called ‘very supportive’ (with two per wing, and CMs lining route on movements, making a ‘great difference’ as staff felt ‘supported’ and safer). They liked the morning wing staff briefing, the No.1’s widely read weekly blog (including ‘good and bad’ and giving praise where due) as well as the well-used staff mess.
The SMs and CMs praised the staff’s ‘enthusiasm’, ‘commitment’, ‘resilience’ and ‘can do’ attitude (which they compared ‘very positively’ with other jails), and good staff-staff relationships. They agreed about phones, the safer custody team, CMs on wings, Governor’s blog, and staff mess, and valued the ‘real focus’ on managers giving thanks to staff for jobs well done. They rated F-wing’s reception and peer-led induction (e.g. new prisoners all met by peers, all cells cleaned and fully kitted out), ‘Signposters’ (like PID workers) on each wing, wing councils, bi-monthly prisoner council meetings with SMs, and the substance misuse team.
The prisoners described ‘decent’ prisoner-staff relations, with violence reduced considerably (with a dedicated CSIP landing and zero tolerance key), in a clean and ‘safe’ (‘unless you look for trouble’) prison. They said Spice and Mamba were ‘much less of a problem’ now, with CMs on the wings making a real difference, and also picked out Signposters, wing councils, and bi-monthly prisoner council meetings with SMs (to ‘get things done’). They liked phones in cells (as per usual), two ‘very good’ gyms with ‘excellent’ staff, and the ‘decent’ range of education.